Friday, August 19, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. KRLD Restaurant is in full swing this week.  The Architect and I will be dining at Nonna and Parigi.  Reservations are still available at lots of places.

2.  It is Tax Free Weekend and H&M opened yesterday at Northpark.  Coincidence? I think not.

3.  Martin Creed's installation art piece "Work No. 1190: Half the air in a given space" closes this weekend at the Nasher Sculpture Center on Sunday.  Head over to the de-installation party and take home a piece of the art (a shiny gold ballon).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

PARK(ing) Day Dallas - September 16, 2011

On September 16, 2011 20 metered parking spaces in Dallas will be reclaimed and turned into temporary green spaces.

PARK(ing) day began in 2005 in San Francisco where one metered parking space was taken over for a day to provide a public green space and improve the "urban environment."

The locating of PARK(ing) Day Dallas will be along Main Street in downtown Dallas.  Registration is now open for teams to register for a space to turn into areas to relax, showcase entertainment, and networking.  Teams are encouraged to use sustainable construction materials and partner with charities.

Registration opened on August 15, 2011.  Read more about PARK(ing) Day Dallas and register your team here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

CLINK! Shaken vs. Stirred

In the recent version of Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig, James Bond orders a Martini at the bar during a high stakes poker game. The bartender asks if he wants it shaken or stirred.
007’s response: “Do I look like I give a damn?”
Okay, we ALL thought he was going to say “shaken,” because in fact every other time he has given a damn. And you should too-but not just about Martinis.
Yes, normally 007 does prefer his vodka Martinis shaken, which is exactly the ONLY exception to the rule about whether to shake or stir a cocktail. Basically, if the drink contains fruit juice or egg/egg whites it is proper and acceptable to shake the drink. Any other drink, those made with spirits and modifiers only, should be stirred. And I would include the gin Martini in the “must stir” category, leaving only vodka as the exception.
Check out this video clip about the gin Martini if you don't believe me…

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. Doggie Splash Day - The city of Rockwall is closer that you think.  The City of Rockwall invites puppies and their owners to sunbathe, swim in the pool and participate in a swimsuit contest (for the puppies) on Saturday afternoon.

2. 50 Fest - This weekend the Amon Carter Museum turns 50.  Hang out on the lawn of the Philip Johnson designed museum where you can hula hoop, make art and listen to bands all day long.

3. KRLD Restaurant Week Preview Weekend - This weekend is the preview for KRLD Restaurant Week.  For 35 bucks you can eat at some of the finest restaurants in Dallas.  Proceeds benefit the North Texas Food Bank

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Contributor - The Architect

You will see to your right that there is a new kid in town on this blog.  The Architect has finally agreed to post occasionally on this blog.  He will be handling the Clink! posts from now on.  Look to see future posts on his favorite cocktails and the chemistry project currently underway in our kitchen.

His first post is below.

CLINK! Intro and cocktail rules

Four Squares has been trying to get me to write semi-regular posts about cocktails, cocktail happenings, and similar topics for some time. I always thought it was a good idea, I’m just lazy and haven’t gotten motivated to do it, until now. I am an architect by training and disposition, but really love to make and drink cocktails. I got started with cocktails probably 14 years ago, give or take, and the first cocktail that I can recall was the vodka Martini (which is still one of my favorites). Over the years I’ve tried many different drinks, emptied many bottles of booze, and even experimented with my own recipes. The first thing I’d like to share with you my basic principles of making and drinking great cocktails:

1. Measure all ingredients. It is expedient to pour directly into a mixing glass, but this leads to poorly proportioned drinks. It is much better to take the time to measure the ingredients to be sure that the drink is properly made. You’ll also find that your drinks will be consistent from day to day, which has the side benefit of making it easier to compare different ingredient or proportions.

2. Cold is one of the key ingredients in most cocktails. Take the time to make sure the drink is nice and cold before serving or drinking. You may let the ingredients sit in the mixing glass for a minute or so, and make sure to shake or stir adequately to properly chill the drink. There’s nothing worse than a warm cocktail.

2A. A little ice melt is your friend. Ice melt is actually an expected part of most recipes. Don’t worry, your drink won’t be diluted, but what the ice melt will do is cut some of the alcohol and smooth out any rough edges, helping to blend everything together.

3. Presentation is important. Always serve a cocktail in the proper glass, be it a cocktail glass, double old fashioned, Collins, etc. And…

4. Don’t skimp on the garnish. Properly garnishing a drink is not only part of proper presentation, but garnish is meant to impart flavor and depth to the cocktail, and sometimes aroma as well. Usually this is very subtle, but try a classic vodka Martini with either a lemon twist or olives and you’ll experience the effects of garnish (both of these, by the way, are wonderful, but very different).

5. Don’t be afraid to experiment. There are cocktail purists out there that will tell you to never change or modify a recipe. But it’s your drink-have fun with it and make it how you enjoy it. Maybe you like things a little drier, maybe a little sweeter-it’s up to you to make a drink that you and your friends enjoy.

6. Making a good cocktail will take a few minutes, don’t rush it.

7. Cheers!